Daniel Craig bristles over Phoebe Waller-Bridge writing 'Bond' questions

FILE - In this April 25, 2019, file photo, actor Daniel Craig poses for photographers during the photo call of the latest installment of the James Bond film franchise, currently known as "Bond 25," in Oracabessa, Jamaica. An explosion Tuesday, June 4, 2019, on the set of the new James Bond movie has injured one crew member and damaged a stage at Pinewood Studios outside London. No one was injured on set but a crew member outside the stage sustained a minor injury. The exterior of a stage was also damaged at the studio facilities. (AP Photo/Leo Hudson, File)
Daniel Craig (Credit: AP Photo/Leo Hudson)

Daniel Craig has said that it was his idea to bring Phoebe Waller-Bridge in to finesse some of the script for new Bond movie No Time To Die.

But he doesn't think people should be analysing it.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said: “She’s just brilliant. I had my eye on her ever since the first Fleabag, and then I saw Killing Eve and what she did with that and just wanted her voice. It is so unique - we are very privileged to have her on board.”

However, when asked whether the move was made to drag Bond into a more representative era, he begins to answer the question, before deciding to shut things down.

“Look, we’re having a conversation about Phoebe’s gender here, which is f**king ridiculous,” he replied (though, the writer suggests, in good humour).

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, winner of the awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, outstanding comedy series and outstanding writing for a comedy series for "Fleabag," poses in the press room at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“She’s a great writer. Why shouldn’t we get Phoebe onto Bond? That’s the answer to that. I know where you’re going, but I don’t actually want to have that conversation. I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong.

“She’s a f**king great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, ‘Can we get her on the film?’ That’s where I came from.”

Reports have since surfaced that Waller-Bridge ended up doing far more on the script for No Time To Die than was planned, and she’s now being courted for the next movie.

Craig also denied that he's grumpy, something the 51-year-old actor has something of a reputation for.

He went on: “But then I don’t do much to dispel it, because I’d just be chasing my tail to prove that I’m not the person people think I am. You know, I probably don’t have a particularly good public persona. Some do.

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“Some can go on talk shows and tell stories, but I’m just not wired that way. I don’t know what to say. I can try, but people would go, ‘What’s he doing?’ They’d go, ‘Where is the grumpy f*****?’

“But I’m not grumpy. Genuinely, I’m not. I hope you can tell. I love what I do. I love this business, and I don’t mind talking to journalists. I mean, I don’t love it. Yet I don’t mind talking about stuff I love. That’s easy.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 07: Daniel Craig attends the "Knives Out" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 07, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Daniel Craig attends the "Knives Out" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

“But I just grew up in an era when, if you were trying to be an artist, you didn’t look for approval. You didn’t look for likes. You just did your thing. And this? This is what I do. Who am I personally? It has nothing to do with anybody, except for the people in my life.”

Craig is set to appear in Rian Johnson's new movie Knives Out, which lands in the UK on November 26.

No Time To Die, his final Bond movie, arrives on 3 April, 2020.